Ubuntu Edge smartphone set to fail


We’ve been informing readers about the proposed Ubuntu Edge that is the subject of a crowd-funding campaign. We would love to see this device come to fruition but sadly it looks as though the Ubuntu Edge smartphone is set to fail. With only a limited amount of time to go it looks very unlikely that the funding target will be met.

When we first told readers about the Indiegogo campaign to fund the Ubuntu Edge we gave details about what sounds like a hugely impressive smartphone that could certainly take on a few of the big names. However the funding target is very ambitious, set at a whopping $32,000, and we later told how the campaign was behind schedule even though over $7 million had been raised by that point.

This very notable smartphone will only be available, at least initially, to those who back the project. Presently a special price of $695 has been set for the Indiegogo project until the end of the campaign, with free shipping for the US and UK. Alas, at the time of writing it looks as though this could all come to nothing, as there are only 14 days to go until the funding deadline is reached and although $8,594,322 has been raised this is nowhere near the target of $32,000,000 needed.

The Ubuntu Edge from Canonical not only has notable planned specs but also runs a mobile version of the desktop Ubuntu OS, giving it the ability to become a PC when teamed with a monitor. Although the funding campaign had a very promising start, the amount of backers has slowed right down. If the funding had continued at the same rate as when the campaign begun, when $3.45 million was pledged in the first 24 hours, then the target would have been easily met by the deadline, but disappointingly that has not been the case.

Backers raised only $80,000 over one of the last full days, and that equates to less than 100 ‘buyers’ of the Ubuntu Edge in that timeframe, nowhere near the amount necessary. Of course this ‘failure’ has to be seen in context to other crowd-funding projects where the most raised had previously been $2 million. However, without the necessary funding being reached the Ubuntu Edge will just not be produced, as simple as that.

Of course Canonical will press on with its Ubuntu OS developments for smartphones and tablets, but it looks as though the team will have to let go of the dream of producing both the hardware and software. All hope is not totally lost though, and if more significant backers climb aboard the project (as Bloomberg LP just did) then who knows what could happen. It could be the case though, that despite receiving the highest funding of any such campaign so far, the Ubuntu Edge will never be made.

If you want to see more about the Ubuntu Edge smartphone then head to this Indiegogo page. Would you like to see some huge backers join the campaign to put this device into production? Maybe you’ll even become a backer yourself? Let us know with your comments.